Skip to main content Skip to navigation
We care about your privacy. Read about your rights and how we protect your data. Get Details

Pain Medicine Care Complex

Contact number | 202-476-3273

The Sheikh Zayed Institute's Pain Medicine Care Complex is one of only a few programs in the country focused exclusively on managing pain for infants, children, and teens. When children are unable to express their pain in words, our pediatric specialists have the unique insight to help.

As part of the Sheikh Zayed Institute's Pain Medicine Initiative, the Care Complex draws on a multidisciplinary approach to enable treatment of your child's physical symptoms as well as the psychological and emotional aspects of pain. We consider how a child feels and perceives pain, and take steps in care to reduce their fears and their family's anxieties.

Conditions We Care For

There is no typical pain patient. The team looks at every part of a child's pain. We develop a unique treatment plan that may blend traditional medicine and alternative therapies to best fit the needs of each patient.

The team helps children affected by long-term pain, usually lasting four to six weeks, who have not responded to standard treatments, and patients with certain conditions, including:

Specialized Psychological Support Service

Psychological therapy is an important part of the comprehensive care we provide to patients and their families. Children and teens with chronic pain often miss out on activities they enjoy, like hanging out with friends or playing sports. The absence of such normal childhood connections can affect a child's well-being, and additional support from our team can help you and your child cope.

Successful treatment for complex pain involves the whole family and the community around the patient. Your child's care team includes your child's primary care doctor, our specialists, as well as you, your child, and your family.

We work with you and your child to develop an individual approach for treatment. This includes:

Pain Behavior Assessment and Disability Evaluation

Because every child reacts to pain differently, we evaluate the physical pain, how your child thinks about the pain, and how the pain impacts interactions with friends, family, and life in general.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

As part of treatment, we use cognitive behavior therapy to help a patient think differently about pain. For many children, this approach effectively reduces pain, disability, and distress. Together, we set goals and gradually increase activity levels so your child can become more active and enjoy a normal childhood as much as possible.

Support for Patients and Families

Ongoing pain impacts a child physically, emotionally, and socially, and it involves the entire family.  The Pain Medicine Care Complex team is available 24 hours a day to assist families through urgent pain crises. A treatment plan engages everyone in a child's life as an active participant in the healing process, from the child's parents and siblings to the primary care doctor and teachers.

The team is part of the Pain Medicine Initiative of the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation and includes pain medicine experts from several divisions at Children's National:

This collaboration between programs means that we offer the most advanced therapies for patients. The institute's Pain Medicine Initiative is one of the leading research centers in the country, developing new medications and interventions to safely and effectively reduce pain for our young patients.

Download a PDF about the Pain Care Complex.

Pain Medicine Care Complex Team

  • No Photo

    Celeste Martin
    Director, Acute Pain Medicine
    Anesthesiologist
    Pain Medicine Specialist

  • No Photo

    Elisha Peterson
    Director, Chronic Pain and Pain Medicine Clinic
    Anesthesiologist

  • Sean Alexander

    Sean Alexander
    Anesthesiologist
    Pain Medicine Specialist

  • Ira Cohen

    Ira Cohen
    Anesthesiologist
    Acute Pain Specialist
    Acupuncture Specialist

  • Julia FInkel

    Julia Finkel
    Anesthesiologist
    Acute Pain Specialist, Sheikh Zayed Research Faculty

  • Angela Fletcher

    Angela Fletcher
    Psychologist
    Behavioral Pain Medicine Specialist

  • Laura Gray

    Laura Gray
    Psychologist
    Behavioral Medicine Specialist

  • Yewande Johnson

    Yewande Johnson
    Anesthesiologist
    Acute Pain Specialist

  • Sophie Pestieau

    Sophie Pestieau
    Associate Chief , Clinical Affairs
    Anesthesiologist
    Acute Pain Specialist

  • No Photo

    Sarah Reece-Stremtan
    Anesthesiologist
    Acute Pain Specialist
    Acupuncture

  • No Photo

    Kelsey Borner
    Psychologist, Behavioral Pain Medicine

  • Mirini Kim

    Mirini Kim
    Nurse Practitioner

  • Michael Lotke

    Michael Lotke
    Assistant Director, Global Services
    Pain Medicine Specialist

  • Jeffrey Rabin

    Jeffrey Rabin
    Vice-Chair, Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine
    Pediatric Rehabilitation Specialist